Saturday, December 9, 2017

Cozy Christmas Reads: Susan's story

Joy to the World

A personal essay by Susan M. Baganz

My daughter is what is now known as a “rainbow baby.” A child born after a loss to miscarriage or stillbirth. I didn’t know I was having a girl and in spite of being pregnancy number four and she was ten days late in coming.

Then they announced it was a girl. I seriously was expecting a boy but was elated with this bundle of joy God had given. But he almost took her away as well. A shot given at birth resulted in seizures where she would stop breathing. Rejoicing turned to fear as she was transferred to a Children’s Hospital.

I forgot my Bible in my haste to get to the hospital. But I had my journal and had written the Scripture in there from the last Sunday’s sermon. Psalm 37:4 (a Bible verse) was written in there: “Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart.”

I was able to stay in a room at the hospital to be close to her as they ran all kinds of expensive tests. I prayed for my daughter. I told God: “She belongs to You, Lord. My desire is to keep Joy (her name) but if You decide to take her, I will trust You in that as well. And, Lord, while you’re at it can we leave the hospital on Sunday?”

Joy Lucille will become a teenager this December. We did go home that Sunday and long story short, she is seizure free due to the help of a naturopathic doctor since other doctors refused to treat her because we lacked insurance.

Maybe it’s not unusual then that I put a baby in my Christmas novella, Gabriel’s Gift. Babies are special at any time, but a baby born near Christmas makes the season seem more personal. And every year I remember the sorrow and anxiety of those days battling doctors to spend time with my baby who was 9 pounds in a NICU and kicked off her leads and sent the alarms off.

She’s grown into a lovely young woman. And God gave me the desire of my heart in allowing me to keep my baby with me. Having godly desire isn’t bad and it’s the core of my novella. Gabriel desires Mattie but she’s reluctant. He lays that desire on the altar of God much like I did my daughter. And then He waited in faith for God to work.

Joy’s middle name is after my great grandmother who I adored. Put together her name means “joyful light-bearer.” My hope is that my novella shines the light of God’s love as much as my daughter does. And every day I still need to entrust all my children to God’s care. They have problems and issues that they have to cope with. And as they become more independent I have less influence on their choices. I only hope and pray I’ve invested enough in them to bear fruit and impact the kingdom like my main characters do in their book.

My books, like my kids, have a life of their own and it’s fascinating to watch and see the impact they make in the lives of those who read them. Perhaps it’s for fun, but hopefully the truths buried in the pages will be the way God can get into those dark places He longs to touch and heal.

Author Bio: 

Susan M. Baganz chases after three Hobbits and is a native of Wisconsin. She is an Editor with Pelican Book Group and writes adventurous historical and contemporary romances with a biblical world-view. 

Susan speaks, teaches and encourages others to follow God in being all He has created them to be. With her seminary degree in counseling psychology, a background in the field of mental health, and years serving in church ministry, she understands the complexities and pain of life as well as its craziness. She serves behind-the-scenes in various capacities at her church.

Her favorite pastimes are lazy ones—snuggling with her dog while reading a good book, or sitting with a friend chatting over a cup of spiced chai latte.

Book Blurb for Gabriel's GiftGabriel Morgan returns to the Northumberland village of Corby as the new church pastor. Eager to serve his parishioners, he settles into the position with energy and enthusiasm. He doesn't expect to run into Mattie Wilson, the girl he grew up with—the woman he fell in love with—and then lost years ago. 

Reconnecting with Gabriel stirs up long-lost dreams in Miss Matilda Wilson, but her father's overindulgences and shameful death, have brought her down in the world since her carefree, youthful days with Gabriel. Ashamed of her father's past and struggling to understand her Grandfather's quiet brand of faith, she struggles with believing anyone can find her worthy of love—especially Gabriel, whose love for God tugged him away from her once already.

As the two become reacquainted, and Gabriel recognizes Matilda's broken, hesitant spirit, his heart aches for her. While he eagerly shares with her the wonder of God, a small miracle binds them together—the discovery of an abandoned baby.

As Christmas draws near, can Gabriel break down the walls of Matilda's heart to see the wonder of it all? His affection for her blooms as he watches her uncover the greatest gift of all—unconditional love.

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  1. Many things bring joy to my heart. One of them is seeing our children make good decisions, and seeing their faith. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post!

  2. I’m so grateful you were able have more time with your lovely daughter and Happy Birthday to her.
    My oldest son will be 19 this Christmas Eve! Thank you , Jenny T


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